“and take the sword of the spirit… which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
One of the eternal truths I’ve learned from being mom to two boys is that there will be swords. There will be light-sabers. There will never be enough. It starts out early, with straws or crayons and just escalates from there. Our collection is extensive. When I ask if there are any we could maybe get rid of I’m met with shock and disgust at the very idea, “No! we use them all, we need them all!” I swear, they are programmed to swing some sort of weapon around at least half the time. They are created with an amazing sense of adventure and a very strong awareness that each story has a good guy as well as a bad guy. I foolishly asked once, “Does there always have to be a bad guy? Why can’t you both just be good guys?” The answer was of course, that there would be no point if everyone was on the same side.
As I picked up a red light saber from the stairs (bad guy) and a green one from the counter top (good guy), I realized just how right they were. There is a dark side calling out to us through fear and anger as well as a good side that counters the dark lies with the truth. We have been given spiritual weapons to fight with, but we must choose to use them.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17
To be a Christian is to be a warrior. We aren’t neutral in this battle and we can’t pretend there isn’t an enemy. We fight in spirit and in truth. Our greatest asset is the Word of God, and the enemy would like nothing better than for us to put that weapon down. Of all the armor, it is the one thing we use to go on the offense. The Word of God fights for us. It cuts through the fear, doubt and whatever else the enemy tries to use against us. We cannot put it down or neglect it.
I will never forget one summer while on vacation in France, the boys were playing in a park with their light sabers. One of them had dropped their weapon in the grass and was walking away. An old man walking with his newspaper came up to them and pointed to the sword in the grass. “You dropped your sword. Always keep your sword with you,” he said to them and then just walked away. As everything is a Star Wars reference for us, I joked with them that he must have been Obi Wan, warning them to pay attention.
We need to be careful not to put down our sword. We are so vulnerable without the Word of God, easily swayed to a ‘dark side’ that, unfortunately, parades around as light. We can’t just pick it up in times of trouble. It has to become a part of who we are. One of the things I love most about this is that God never leaves us hanging. He honors our choice to pick up the Word and He comes in like a whirlwind to bestow His mighty power to our situation. It’s never in vain.
There are red light sabers and there are green ones. There isn’t a neutral color. As much as we’d like there to be all good guys, we live in a fallen world where there are plenty of bad guys. God has equipped us with the greatest weapon of all, if we would only pick it up. It’s good to know about the sword, but the power comes when we learn to use it.
Christians, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6).
Hold tight to the Word, the one true weapon of our warfare, and watch God fight the battle for you!